adiq Khan has described Just Stop Oil as a “really important pressure group” despite the activists’ threats to disrupt the London Pride parade.
It comes after the group threatened to disrupt the march if the parade does not stop accepting sponsorship money from “high-polluting industries”.
Ahead of the parade on Saturday morning, Sadiq Khan was asked by the PA news agency if he supported Just Stop Oil.
He said that the group puts pressure on those who have power and influence.
“I agree with protesting in a way that is lawful, safe, and peaceful,” he said.
“I think that Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil are really important pressure groups trying to put power on those who have power and influence.
“I fully support the right to protest.
“It’s really important to recognise the joy of a democracy is protest.”
Mr Khan was also asked how he felt about Just Stop Oil’s threats to disrupt the event.
“I am somebody who feels quite passionately that we have to tackle the climate emergency,” he said.
“And I feel quite passionately about encouraging people to join the movement to tackle the climate emergency.
“In my view, protest should be peaceful, lawful, and safe.”
In a statement, LGBT+ members of the group also called on organisers to ban floats from those organisations in the parade – and condemn new oil, gas and coal.
“These partnerships embarrass the LGBTQ+ community at a time when much of the cultural world is rejecting ties to these toxic industries,” they said.
LGBT+ people are “suffering first” in the “accelerating social breakdown” caused by climate change, they added.
“Pride was born from protest,” the statement continued.
“It speaks to how far we’ve come as a community that high-polluting industries and the banks that fund them now see Pride as a useful vehicle for sanitising their reputations, waving rainbow flags in one hand whilst accelerating social collapse with the other.”
Just Stop Oil said: “If London Pride fails to take these basic steps necessary to protect our community, we will have to consider potential escalations which may result in the disruption of Pride.
“We will also call for the entire LGBTQ+ community to join us in protest and boycott – for the safety of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”
Asked about Just Stop Oil’s demands, a spokesperson for Pride in London said: “The safety of others is paramount to Pride in London.
“This year we are highlighting trans+ joy, ensuring that the community knows that with us, they #NeverMarchAlone.
“We call on all individuals, groups and organisations to give this space the respect and focus it deserves in an increasingly hostile and unsafe world.”